Ryan Tannehill might be Miami’s franchise QB, but he’ll need better protection and more consistent play from his weapons to reach his full potential.
BY LIAM QUIBELL
To the surprise of some, The Dolphins are playing fairly decent this year. A significant part of that decent play is due in part to the weakness of the AFC East this season, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the offense have been performing at a fairly high level. Defensively, The Dolphins rank 25th in run defense and need to address this issue if they want to take that next step and catch the Patriots in their division.
If the Dolphins went D-Line in the first round Arizona State’s Will Sutton would be a good option to beef up the front line and clog the holes that the opposing RB’s are constantly finding. The Dolphins also have free agents like Paul Soliai and Randy Starks, meaning the Dolphins need immediate help on the line. If the Dolphins were to wait for the second or third round to get a DT, guys like DaQuan Jones of Penn State, Timmy Jernigan of Florida State and Danny Shelton of Washington are all guys I really like.
Tannehill and the offense have pretty good depth at WR and a couple good young RB’s but the Dolphins might think about grabbing a play-maker at tight end fairly early in the draft. Charles Clay has shown flashes of great play but with the talent at TE in this draft, I would not be surprised if the Dolphins hopped on one early. Eric Ebron of UNC looks really good but he might not make it to the Dolphins’ pick. My best fit for the Dolphins is Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a big TE who would be great to add to the lineup and help pass and run protect.
If the Dolphins’ don’t address the need at tackle in the first round, solid options like Ohio State’s Jack Mewhort should still be available on Day 2.
Tannehill needs time in the pocket and his O-line is not giving it to him. He doesn’t have that quick release or the elite skills that allow him to get the ball out instantly and effectively. In my opinion, Miami needs to spend three picks on offensive linemen in May. Specific positions on the line the ‘Phins need to address are both left and right tackles as well as left guard.
With the talent available at tackle in this draft, I’m confident that the Dolphins will go there in the first round despite their need for a DT. I like Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson to help the left side in the first round because there are good RT’s in the next couple rounds including Jack Mewhort of Ohio State, who will be around in the 3 or 4th round, or hometown guy Seantrel Henderson of Miami.
Assuming that Miami picks a LT in the first round, and a DT or TE in the second, I feel like the third or fourth round might be reserved for a guard. Solid options that should be available in that range include Alabama’s Anthony Steen, Chris Burnette of Georgia and Notre Dame’s Chris Watt.